TV journalists detained, physically assaulted in the Maldives

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Maldives Journalists Association (MJA) in strongly criticizing the attack and detention of two journalists and a television executive in the capital Male on November 2. The IFJ calls on the Maldivian authorities to put an end to the harassment of the media and journalists, and allow them to exercise their duties freely without fear of attack.

On Monday November 2, the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, Rajje TV journalists Mohamed Wisam and Leevan Ali Nasir, along with Rajje TV executive Fiyaz Moosa were  arrested. They were detained overnight in Male before being released by the Criminal Court on Tuesday. According to reports, the trio were physically abused in detention which left them with minor injuries. According to police, they were arrested ‘for obstructing police duties’ while they were covering an event.

The IFJ notes that this is not the first instance that Raajje TV media workers have been harassed by the police. In March, 2015, Wisam and cameraman Adam Zareer was arrested while covering opposition’s rally and were detained for five days.

The MJA said: “The MJA strongly condemn the intimidation on journalists.”

The IFJ said: “We deplore the actions of local police in arresting and detaining the journalists for simply doing their jobs. The reports of physical assault are also extremely concerning and we urge the government to immediately investigate the incident.”

The IFJ added: “Raajje TV has suffered repeated harassment and attack for their opposing voice, and there had been no investigation into the 2013 arson attack in their studio. As a democratic government, the Maldivan government should respect opposition voices and restrain from harassing media.”

Join the IFJ #EndImpunity campaign tagging #IFJ and demand action for these attacks as well as missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla. #Whatareyoudoing? #AbdullaYameen

IFJ campaign: http://bit.ly/IFJendimpunity

IFJ impunity resources: http://bit.ly/IFJimpunityresources 

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 139 countries

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